Monday, September 14, 2009

Science in the Kitchen from

Science in the Kitchen

I came accross an out of print gem to share with you.

The following is from Science in the Kitchen by Mrs. E. E. Kellogg. While not about pizza, it certainly is a treasure of food information. There are some interesting discussions about all kinds of food.

In the following, various fruits are discussed. There is also some great information about the olive.

Apples were introduced into the United States by the early settlers,
and the first trees were planted on an island in Boston Harbor, which
still retains the name of Apple Island. The wild crab tree is the parent
of most of the cultivated varieties.

THE PEAR.--The origin of the pear, like that of the apple, is
shrouded in obscurity, though Egypt, Greece, and Palestine dispute for
the honor of having given birth to the tree which bears this prince of
fruits. Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher of the fourth century, speaks
of the pear in terms of highest praise; and Galen, the father of medical
science, mentions the pear in his writings as possessing "qualities
which benefit the stomach." The pear tree is one of the most hardy of
all fruit trees, and has been known to live several hundred years.

THE QUINCE.--This fruit appears to have been a native of Crete,
from whence it was introduced into ancient Greece; and was largely
cultivated by both Greeks and Romans. In Persia, the fruit is edible in
its raw state; but in this country it never ripens sufficiently to be
palatable without being cooked. The fruit is highly fragrant and
exceedingly acid, and for these reasons it is largely employed to flavor
other fruits.

THE PEACH.--This fruit, as its botanical name, _prinus Persica_,
indicates, is a native of Persia, and was brought from that country to
Greece, from whence it passed into Italy. It is frequently mentioned by
ancient writers, and was regarded with much esteem by the people of
Asia. The Romans, however, had the singular notion that peaches gathered
in Persia contained a deadly poison, but if once transplanted to another
soil, this injurious effect was lost. In composition, the peach is
notable for the small quantity of saccharine matter it contains in
comparison with other fruits.

THE PLUM.--The plum is one of the earliest of known fruits. Thebes,
Memphis, and Damascus were noted for the great number of their plum
trees in the early centuries. Plum trees grow wild in Asia, America, and
the South of Europe, and from these a large variety of domestic plum
fruits have been cultivated.

Plums are more liable than most other fruits to produce disorders of
digestion, and when eaten raw should be carefully selected, that they be
neither unripe nor unripe. Cooking renders them less objectionable.

THE PRUNE.--The plum when dried is often called by its French
cognomen, _prune_. The larger and sweeter varieties are generally
selected for drying, and when good and properly cooked, are the most
wholesome of prepared fruits.

THE APRICOT.--This fruit seems to be intermediate between the peach
and the plum, resembling the former externally, while the stone is like
that of the plum. The apricot originated in Armenia, and the tree which
bears the fruit was termed by the Romans "the tree of Armenia." It was
introduced into England in the time of Henry VIII. The apricot is
cultivated to some extent in the United States, but it requires too much
care to permit of its being largely grown, except in certain sections.

THE CHERRY.--The common garden cherry is supposed to have been
derived from the two species of wild fruit, and historians tell us that
we are indebted to the agricultural experiments of Mithridates, the
great king of ancient Pontus, for this much esteemed fruit. It is a
native of Asia Minor, and its birthplace.

THE OLIVE.--From time immemorial the olive has been associated with
history. The Scriptures make frequent reference to it, and its
cultivation was considered of first importance among the Jews, who used
its oil for culinary and a great variety of other purposes. Ancient
mythology venerated the olive tree above all others, and invested it
with many charming bits of fiction.

Grecian poets sang its praises, andearly Roman writers speak of it with high esteem. In appearance and sizethe fruit is much like the plum; when ripe, it is very dark green,almost black, and possesses a strong, and, to many people, disagreeable

The pulp abounds in a bland oil, for the production of which it
is extensively cultivated in Syria, Egypt, Italy, Spain, and Southern
France. The fruit itself is also pickled and preserved in various ways,
but, like all other similar commodities when thus prepared, it is by no
means a wholesome article of food.

THE DATE.--The date is the fruit of the palm tree so often
mentioned in the Sacred Writings, and is indigenous to Africa and
portions of Asia. The fruit grows in bunches which often weigh from
twenty to twenty-five pounds, and a single tree will bear from one to
three thousand pounds in a season.

The date is very sweet and
nutritious. It forms a stable article of diet for the inhabitants of
some parts of Egypt, Arabia, and Persia, and frequently forms the chief
food of their horses, dogs, and camels. The Arabs reduce dried dates to
a meal, and make therefrom a bread, which often constitutes their sole
food on long journeys through the Great Desert.

The inhabitants of the
countries where the date tree flourishes, put its various productions to
innumerable uses. From its leaves they make baskets, bags, mats, combs,
and brushes; from its stalks, fences for their gardens; from its fibers,
thread, rope, and rigging; from its sap, a spirituous liquor; from its
fruit, food for man and beast; while the body of the tree furnishes them
with fuel.

The prepared fruit is largely imported to this country. That
which is large, smooth, and of a soft reddish yellow tinge, with a
whitish membrane between the flesh and stone, is considered the best.

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